The Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy is a private, volunteer-run, non-profit land trust committed to “preserving headlands, beaches, and wetlands of the Kingsburg Peninsula and neighbouring areas, and to safeguarding traditional access to our shorelines.” The Kingsburg Peninsula is an area of great scenic beauty and is recognized as such both nationally and globally. Indeed, the almost unbridled growth of the area and accompanying spurt in land purchases and new homes are indicative of the value people place on the natural beauty found on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Paradoxically, without strong efforts to preserve coastal lands, the beauty that has attracted so many to visit and/or live in this part of Nova Scotia are under threat of being lost or severely diminished, as will much of the rich wildlife habitat and areas of cultural and historical significance. The KCC considers it to be critically important to work with like-minded partners to ensure that the natural beauty of our area is preserved. At a time of global concern with the unrelenting loss of green space and natural areas, and the related ecological impact on our lives and the planet, this work is critical for us all.
The KCC actively seeks to protect the open, coastal nature of the Kingsburg Peninsula in a manner that recognizes the need for community growth and development, while also recognizing how quickly the coastal environment can be lost and, once lost, not easily restored. We also recognize that in this era of rapid global warming, rising sea levels, and threats to regional flora and fauna, it is important to preserve as much coastal shoreline and woodland as possible to thwart the impact of growing levels of CO2 on our planet and, at the same time, protect the plant and wildlife indigenous to our peninsula. We further recognize that we reside in a landscape of great historical significance and profound importance to the Mi’kamq, and that those values should be considered in our efforts to protect lands. To those ends, the KCC seeks to:
In pursuing our mission and goals, The KCC strives to:
The story of Kingsburg Coastal Conservancy is one of dedication, optimism and luck, of valued partnerships and generous donors, and of an enduring appreciation for the natural beauty and worth of our land. The roots of the KCC go back to the late 1990s and the efforts of an initially loosely organized community response to concerns about planned coastal development on Kingsburg Beach, and the potential loss of community access to the area’s beaches and headlands. The founding group of the KCC hoped that by banding together and forming a local action group, it could have a hand in shaping the future of our own community and proactively preserve threatened lands. Out of this, the KCC was born.
In 1995, the KCC was officially recognized by the Province as a charitable
community land trust, and therefore became able to issue receipts for all
donations. The Federal Government has designated the KCC as one of the few
organizations in Nova Scotia eligible to accept gifts of ecologically sensitive land
and to issue the receipts that bring tax benefits to donors.
In 2002, the KCC, in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, preserved — and now stewards — the 124 acres of Gaff Point. Over the years, Gaff Point — a nearby peninsula jutting out between the Atlantic Ocean and the LaHave River estuary — has developed into a well-known area for hiking and appreciating nature, and is visited by thousands each year. Around this same time, the KCC received another early boost in its land preservation with the donation of several significant wetland properties near Kingsburg Village. In 2013, after an intensive fundraising campaign, the KCC, in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia, was able to preserve the entirety of West Ironbound Island, a 120-acre island of both historical and ecological significance at the mouth of the LaHave River estuary and neighbouring Gaff point. Although an island and only accessible by boat, the KCC has developed opportunities for public access to it, by partnering with the Nova Scotia Sea School for their summer educational programming and developing a unique creative residency program at the island’s small cottage (www.facebook.com/IronboundCreative). In total, the KCC currently owns and/or stewards 67 properties on the Kingsburg Peninsula, totalling over 140 acres. Recently, the Board of the KCC has turned its attention to increasing its landholding on the Shaubac, yet another unique land area of great ecological, historical, and cultural significance bordering on the LaHave River estuary. (Click here for information on this project)